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What are IFS Exiles?

In the realm of modern psychotherapy, various approaches have emerged to help individuals better understand and heal their inner worlds. One such powerful method is Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy, which explores the different parts of our psyche. A key concept within IFS is that of "exiles." This blog will delve into what IFS exiles are and how online counseling can be an effective means to address these deep-seated issues. By leveraging the convenience and accessibility of online counselling, individuals can embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery and healing.


What are IFS Exiles?

Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy, developed by Dr. Richard Schwartz, is based on the idea that our psyche is composed of various sub-personalities or "parts." These parts can take on different roles and functions, often shaped by our experiences and emotions. Among these parts, exiles are particularly significant.


Exiles are the parts of us that carry the burdens of past traumas, painful memories, and deep-seated emotions. They are often isolated from the rest of the psyche because their pain is too overwhelming to be dealt with directly. Common characteristics of exiles include:

  • Intense Emotions: Exiles often hold intense feelings such as fear, shame, sadness, or anger, which can be triggered by certain situations or memories.

  • Vulnerability: These parts are typically very young and vulnerable, as they originate from early life experiences.

  • Suppression: To protect the individual from the pain associated with these exiles, other parts of the psyche (known as protectors) work to keep them suppressed or hidden.


The Role of IFS Therapy

IFS therapy aims to create a harmonious internal system by fostering a compassionate relationship between the self and these various parts, including exiles. The process involves:

  1. Identifying Parts: Recognizing and understanding the different parts of the psyche, including protectors and exiles.

  2. Unburdening Exiles: Gently accessing and healing the exiles, allowing them to release their burdens and integrate more positively into the individual's overall self.

  3. Building Self-Leadership: Encouraging the core self to take the lead in managing the internal system, promoting balance and harmony.


The Advantages of Online Counseling for IFS

Online counseling has become increasingly popular, providing a flexible and accessible way to engage in therapeutic work. Here are some key benefits of online counseling for IFS therapy:


1. Accessibility and Convenience

Online counseling eliminates geographical barriers, allowing individuals to access therapy from the comfort of their own homes. This is particularly beneficial for those living in remote areas or with limited mobility.

2. Flexibility

With online counseling, scheduling sessions can be more flexible, accommodating the busy lives of clients. This flexibility can lead to more consistent and regular therapy sessions, which are crucial for progress in IFS therapy.

3. Privacy and Comfort

Engaging in therapy from a familiar and comfortable environment can help clients feel more at ease, promoting openness and honesty during sessions. This can be especially important when dealing with the sensitive nature of exiles in IFS therapy.

4. Continuity of Care

Online counseling ensures continuity of care, even in situations where in-person sessions might be disrupted (e.g., during travel or a pandemic). This consistent support is vital for the ongoing healing process in IFS therapy.



IFS therapy offers a profound approach to understanding and healing the complex landscape of our inner world. By addressing the pain and vulnerability of exiles, individuals can achieve greater self-awareness and emotional well-being. Online counselling provides a practical and effective means to engage in IFS therapy, offering accessibility, flexibility, and comfort. Embracing this modern therapeutic approach can pave the way for a transformative journey towards a more harmonious and integrated self.


If you're interested in exploring IFS therapy and the benefits of online counselling, reach out to one of our qualified therapists today and claim your free consultation.

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